Like the Salishan Nature Trail along the Siletz Bay (west of highway 101), the trail head is a little tricky to find, in spite of the large sign pointing the way.
Another sign pointed us in the direction of the lake (large pond) and away from the golfers. At the lake we were greeted by a HERMIT THRUSH, a SPOTTED TOWHEE, and a SONG SPARROW.
We saw only two more birds after that, although we heard quite a few throughout the walk.
We still couldn't see which way to go, so we decided to take the floating wooden bridge across the water.
There were, surprisingly, no birds on the water. Seems like when we drive past it on the highway, there are usually ducks or geese there.
Once across, we were surprised to find that the path was a narrow trail, obviously maintained, but far rougher going than the easy stroll that allows two to easily walk side-by-side (a nice benefit of the Siletz-side trail).
The trail wandered through thick scrub as well as conifers, often crossing fallen logs. Roots crossed the path in many spots, as you can see in this photo of the path.
Not an easy walk, but beautiful and lush - full of (well-hidden) bird sounds.
We finally reached an area where the path split in three directions, and a sign gave us the option to continue or loop around toward "The Beach".
|Babbling Brook "Falls"|
A criss-cross of rough boardwalks crossed a small stream with a lovely little waterfall.
While the boardwalks to the east were tantalizing, we chose to take the loop back toward the highway.
The walk back was much easier, with a wider trail and easy side-by-side walking. As we got nearer the lake, the path became a broad swath of mown grass. We realized that's how we had missed the trail head!
Turns out the trail head is actually a grassy path along the north side of the lake.
With the sun moving lower in the sky and the temperature dropping, we took a last look across the lake and headed back under the highway to the car.
The East Salishan Nature Trail is a much tougher walk than the one by the bay - be prepared to stumble over roots and up and down slippery slopes. Not "difficult", and not too lengthy (a mile perhaps?), but more of a hike than a stroll if you walk the whole loop. We do plan to go back another day and see what the rest of the trail is like!
To reach the trail, park on the west side of 101 near the Golf Pro Shop and follow the golf-cart path under the highway.